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What could be the possible cause of a sudden swelling on left leg shin ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3620 Questions
I was getting ready to go for a walk, and I noticed a 4x3" swollen area to the left side of my left leg XXXXXXX The skin is normal color, normal temperature. It has started to ache a little bit. I just took 4 Ibuprofen. I do not recall any injury. What could be the cause?
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 16 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

The possible causes for a swelling in the area mentioned with a sudden appearance could be:

1)A insect bite : This can be ruled out by taking a dose of Benadryl and observe the swelling .If it subsides by any degree then it could be confirmed as a insect bite.

2)Folliculitis : Inflammation of the hair follicle.Can initially present with swelling and mild pain but later evolve into pus pointing lesion.

3)Swelling due to unnoticed injury , leading to a bruise.Rarely a minor unnoticed injury can also trigger a swelling if it has hit a blood vessel.

Do apply cold packs over the swelling , to prevent worsening.

The specific treatment for the same depends on the diagnosis.I would advice you to get the swelling examined by your nearest doctor and rule out the above causes.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What could be the possible cause of a sudden swelling on left leg shin ? 2 hours later
I have been keeping my leg elevated with ice. It aches a little. Do you think it could be a DVT? Isn't it usually in the calf of your leg?
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 37 minutes later
Hi again,

Thanks for following me up.

Yes, there are fair chances of it being DVT, but the symptoms could have been worse.Also there would have been pain in the distal limb on walking due to defective circulation if the veins in the limb are affected.

Its also advisable for the Doctor examining to consider DVT being another possible chance.

Hope i cleared your doubts,

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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